Monday, December 26, 2016

2016: The year in uncollected comics parodies

My tribute to the sidekicks and second stringers of the comics page.

See that tab up there, the one that says "Comics Fun!" right under the main banner? Click on that, and you'll find all the various comics-related posts on this blog. Generally, these are little spoofs and mashups of long-running newspaper comics, including (but not limited to): Dennis The Menace, Garfield, The Lockhorns, Rex Morgan, M.D., Hagar The Horrible, Blondie, Marvin, Shoe, Six Chix, and Funky Winkerbean.

I post a lot of that stuff to Twitter and Facebook, but not all of it makes it to Dead 2 Rights. So occasionally, I like to do a little roundup of comics stuff I've done recently and semi-recently. That way, people who don't follow me on social media will get to read it. That's what this post is. I was going through the files on my computer, deleting a lot of mages that I don't need anymore, and I came across some of these comics parodies. I figured, this would be an easy way to get some extra mileage out of them.

Let's start with one of my favorite of the so-called "soap strips," Mary Worth. This long-running feature is so endearingly corny and straight-laced that it all but begs to be parodied, and 2016 was a pretty glorious year in the strip's history. Here, for instance, is a scene with May-December "fun couple" Iris and Zak, right after they first met. I've seen fit to give them a punchlne straight out of CSI: Miami.

Apologies to  Roger Daltrey.

Here's that same couple, now getting along so well that they've switched faces:

They both could have been in Color Me Badd.

And here they are on a date. Aren't they cute?

She'll snap out of it in 20 minutes or so, Zak.

But Iris' unemployed, pill-popping junkie son, Tommy, also had some incredible moments in 2016. Moments that I chose to cheapen, like so:

That's not really what he said. I'm just funnin' ya.

And so:

I had Tommy talk like Johnny Weissmuller in a Tarzan movie, mixed with Disgust from Inside Out.

And then there was the time I pointed out that Tommy's ex-girlfriend looks suspiciously like Mary Worth herself.


Things got so bad for Tommy this year that I had to put him into an Edward Hopper painting.

Tommy even manages to bring down this crowd.

I also compared Tommy's suffering to the Stations of the Cross. My Catholic upbringing shines through!

Mr. Allora is Judas Iscariot in this analogy.

This was such a Tommy-and-Iris-centric year that it was easy to forget about Mary Worth's rich cast of characters. But they had their moments, too, like when Dawn (daughter of Iris' other boyfriend, Wilbur) started getting cozy with one of her college professors. He was one neat guy.

I, too, am impressed, sir.

Moving on from Mary Worth, I also spent a good deal of 2016 spoofing Hagar The Horrible for some reason. There's never been a Hagar movie that I know of, but I'd like to think that Ingmar Bergman would have gotten to it eventually.

This is pretty much what their marriage is like in the strip.

I also spliced the DNA of Hagar The Horrible with that of Hyperbole And A Half. Why? Honestly, I don't remember.

Can't a Viking have any fun?

Beetle Bailey again proved to be a constant source of inspiration, judging by these bootleg strips:

There's so much evil in the world... of Beetle Bailey.

And, one week, I decided to prove that Beetle Bailey would work just as well without all that pesky dialogue getting in the way. For someone whose own writing is so painfully wordy, I seem to have a real thing about getting rid of other writers' words.

Call it Operation: Declutter.

Time for some odds and ends. Here's a Pluggers parody I never posted here for some reason:

I'm afraid it's bad news.

This was also the year that Rex Morgan, M.D. came up with the all purpose ending to any comic strip.

That's also how he diagnoses his patients.

A couple of spoofs inspired by the sports strip Gil Thorp.

Don't feel bad; you wouldn't have liked him anyway.
I honestly don't remember why I did this.

Family Circus is one of those strips that has had a second life thanks to parodies. For some reason, most of my FC-related material in 2016 revolved around hapless middle child Jeffy.

We're all Jeffys at heart sometimes, aren't we?

"Does Tony ever tell you to do things, Jeffy?"

Looks like I forgot to come up with a punchline for this one. Sorry!

But I also imagined the family's dog, Barfy, taking comfort in the suffering of the youngest child, PJ.

"Your tears are so yummy!"

Elsewhere on the comics page, it's always fun to see The Amazing Spider-Man take a punch to the face.

His "Spidey sense" is beyond worthless.

Mark Trail is always good for a larf, be it topical:

Wasn't there a talking garbage heap on Fraggle Rock or something? Am I remembering that wrong?

Or scatological:

Well, that's the end of those pants.

When the subject turns to The Lockhorns, things can't help but get dark.

It looks like he's hatching a plan.

Very dark.

He's saying this to a total stranger.

But Marvin is no stranger to the void either.

Neither is Curtis.

What's that dripping on him. It looks... milky.

Here's a Snuffy Smith rewrite in which the titular hillbilly finally learns to express himself intelligently. As expected, it's a disaster for all concerned.

These two are supposed to be in their thirties, I believe.

But Loweezy gets her revenge in this mashup with Slylock Fox.

This was inspired by the movie Devil Times Five. Those who have seen it will understand.

And speaking of Slylock Fox crossovers, here's one with The Born Loser.

These really are three different Born Loser panels.

I really like the artwork by Gary Brookins in Shoe. The writing, however, is almost never to my taste. The freakish, befuddled bird-people who inhabit the strip are mired in despair and are entirely too willing to disclose unpleasant personal details about themselves to others. So I had to fix that. Here's one rewrite.

My version adds what I call "Midwestern reserve."

Here's another, along the same lines:

This must have been during the baseball playoffs. My mind was elsewhere.

And, uh, another:

Well, isn't that what you'd say?

And yet another:

That kid has heard the truth for the first time in his life.

This should be Dennis The Menace every day. It's the one word he really needs to hear:

You tell him, Margaret.

No year would be complete without a few swipes at Tom Batiuk's strips, Crankshaft and Funky Winkerbean. To wit:

See? Those rumors about Peppermint Patty weren't true at all!

Funky Winkerbean was almost on the right track here.

The Crankshaft/Phantom parody the world was demanding.

If you knew the characters in this strip, you'd realize how accurate this is.

I'll leave you with my own personal favorite comics spoof of 2016. It's a hybrid strip created by stitching together all the depressing moments from other comics:

That was 2016 in a nutshell.